While there’s no one-size-fits-all diet plan that’s suitable for everyone, here are some basic tips for losing weight that will help you slim down for the holidays:
- Reduce your daily calories & maintain a “negative energy balance.”
- Increase your metabolic rate.
- Break bad eating habits.
- Don’t allow yourself to get too hungry.
- Keep a food journal.
- Take health supplements to ensure you get the proper nutrition.
Reduce your daily calories & maintain a “negative energy balance”
Most people know that you need reduce your daily calories to lose weight, but there’s more to it than that. Food is basically energy that your body will either utilize/burn off through exercise and your daily activities or will store as body fat or muscle mass. The key to weight loss is to maintain a “negative energy balance” by consuming less food (calories/energy) and burning more fat (stored energy) by exercising and increasing your metabolism, which will help you burn more calories even while at rest.
To lose weight by burning off excess body fat, you should eat at least 500 fewer calories per day than your daily caloric requirement, and you need to increase your exercise. Note that your caloric intake should not go below 1200 calories per day unless advised by your doctor.
The simplest ways to cut calories are to reduce the size of your meals (portion control) and to cut back on eating high-calorie foods. Avoid foods with “hidden” calories such as condiments like salad dressings, butter, mayonnaise, etc., and sugary drinks like sodas, energy drinks, fruit juices, coffees and lattes. For example, a Starbuck’s Venti (large) Vanilla Latte with skim milk has 274 calories and with whole milk 380 calories. Add whipped cream and there’s another 131 calories. If you drink 5 of these skim milk lattes (no whipped cream) per week, you could potentially gain 20 lbs. in one year!
Increase your metabolic rate
A common dieting mistake is to cut calories too drastically. A sudden, large reduction in calories will lower your metabolic rate and slow down your weight loss. It’s better to make smaller adjustments to your eating habits as you go. For the fastest results, you need to exercise regularly. Exercising burns energy/calories while you do it and also increases your basal metabolic rate, so you’ll burn more calories even afterwards when you’re at rest. Even just 15 minutes per day of low-intensity exercise like walking can have a significant impact on your weight loss and overall health.
Break bad eating habits
Today’s fast-paced lifestyles have created lots of unhealthy eating habits. Here are some things to watch out for:
- Don’t mix food and entertainment. It’s way too easy to mindlessly eat a vat of popcorn or a whole carton of ice cream while you’re watching TV. Instead, keep your meal times separate from other activities so you’ll eat less.
- Don’t eat when you’re stressed. Find other ways to alleviate stress such as exercising, listening to music, gardening, or meditating.
- Don’t eat on the run. Eliminate fast food dining and eating processed foods as much as possible. Fast foods are loaded with fat and calories, and processed foods (like chips, cookies, candy bars, etc.) are not only high-calorie, but are loaded with unhealthy ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, sugar, salt, trans-fats, preservatives and chemicals.
Don’t let yourself get too hungry
Instead of eating three meals per day, eat six smaller meals. This way you’ll have less time in between meals to get hungry, and it will also help raise your metabolic rate so you’ll burn more calories even while at rest. Making sure your meals have a good mix of nutrients and fiber will also help curb hunger.
Keep a food journal
When dieting, it’s easy to lapse back into old eating habits. You may want to keep a food journal to record everything you eat each day. This will force you to think about what you’re eating and be mindful of the corresponding calories, so you’ll make better food choices.
Take health supplements to ensure you get the proper nutrition
When dieting, it’s often difficult to get the proper nutrition just from the foods you eat. Get the vitamins and minerals your body requires, plus accelerate your weight loss by taking natural health supplements scientifically formulated to support healthy weight reduction, such as Healthy Choice Naturals Acai Heat, Corti-Thin or Trim & Tone 2000 High Potency CLA Supplement.
It’s also important to drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, get regular exercise, and reduce the amount of stress in your life.
Remember that short-term efforts will only get you short-term results. The only successful way to lose weight and keep it off is to make permanent, positive changes in your dieting and exercise habits and incorporate them into your daily lifestyle. Of course, there will be times when you slip, but don’t get derailed. Just get right back on track and stick to it. By following these tips for losing weight, soon you’ll be looking better and feeling better, and your efforts will become second nature as part of your everyday routine.